Preventing Abduction for Grown-Ups

Posted by on Jan 14, 2013 in Self-Defense | 1 comment

Preventing Abduction for Grown-Ups

Preventing abduction for grown-ups is similar to preventing abduction for kids: If an adult they don’t know tries to speak to them, they should go immediately to their adult. But, if they are standing with their adult, or alone needing help, they can talk to a stranger.

If an adult they know–but is not on their list of who might pick them up in an emergency–asks them to go somewhere, they must ask their parents first.  There can be no exceptions to this last one for secrets, emergencies, or anything else.

Once, a child helped me teach an after-school Taekwondo class, but his ride home didn’t arrive.  A woman he knew, who was actually going to his house, offered him a ride.  I saw him walking off with her and reminded him to ask his parents first.  The woman felt like I accused her of something.  She never did let him call his parents, but she dialed the mom for me to talk to.  I told her I was sorry for upsetting her friend but wanted to reinforce the importance of always asking first.

Did I think there was any chance she was dangerous? No.  Have children accepted rides from friends’ parents and been harmed?  Yes. Would lives be saved if children always called home before accepting a logical-sounding ride from a nice person they know?  Clearly.

Now for the adult advice: Assume a stranger who walks up to you and starts “making friends” could be a bad guy. Know it is not wrong to walk away. If you can, go to anyone you know, a person who works where you are, or helpful looking strangers.  Make it a habit to know where your friends are, where stores with “security” are, etc.

Know that a person whom you feel you know could be dangerous.  If they aren’t in your immediate family, or haven’t been a good friend for years, don’t go with them “as a secret.” Call your parents, husband, roommate, or anyone and say “I’m going to _______ with _______ and I’ll be home at _______.”  If you don’t return on time, for whatever reason, people have somewhere to start looking.

If someone grabs you, yell and stop them from taking you.  Make what’s happening clear to witnesses yelling something like “Help, I don’t know this man.  You in the red shirt, call 911.”

Hurting the bad-guy is fine, but not your main goal. It is also possible to hook your arms and legs around something immovable, or sit down and kick at their knees. Practice this with your kids and remind them to never, never give up even if they are hurt. If this bad guy takes them somewhere, they will be hurt worse.

We call this the “second location” issue.  If an attacker wants to take you somewhere, they will certainly do worse things to you in this second location than they were in the first.   So, the best advice is never let yourself be taken to another location, even if threatened with a weapon.  While almost all victims taken to a second location are killed, almost all people who run from someone with a gun survive. If they want to shoot you, let them do it where someone will call an ambulance, instead of off in the desert.


Marcy Shoberg is the creator of “Bring Out Your Inner Bodyguard in Two Weeks or Less” home study course for adults and seniors. See

One Comment

  1. Excellent article!